At DeRegt, we often see customers who have developed a great system can forget to consider the cables involved or underestimate their complex nature.
You can have two fantastic pieces of equipment but without the right cable to connect them together, they are likely to be worthless. Involving your cable supplier at an early stage of the project offers three key benefits:
First Advantage: Time
Depending on a cable’s complexity and termination, the time required to develop a cable and then prepare it to be manufactured can range from several months to over a year. It is important to realise the impact of your requirements at an early stage, primarily considering the development time of the cable and the overall project planning.
We have seen cases where people assume that they can obtain a complex cable in a certain amount of weeks, only to see their expected timescale multiplied exponentially at a later stage. This can significantly increase the time it takes to make your product commercially available or even force a delay to the execution of a job.
Second Advantage: Optimisation
The cable can have a major impact on the entire system. For example, the diameter of the cable has a serious impact on the size of the winching system. Overestimating a cable’s diameter can culminate in receiving a winch that is larger than needed, taking up a great deal of valuable space on the vessel that then can’t be used for other equipment or activities.
Moreover, underestimating the diameter of the cable could lead to a situation where only a shorter cable than initially planned can be installed. This might cause limitations to the operational capabilities of the system or product.
Another matter for consideration is selecting materials. Choosing the correct materials will not only save costs, but also ensure that the product is more easily manufacturable, allowing for an efficient production process that results in an equally efficient product. Other benefis of improved manufacturability and a smoother production process are shorter lead times and an accelerated launch into the market.
Other design optimisation examples include power requirements, data requirements, mechanical characteristics and the interface of the termination. Identifying possibilities for optimisation at an early stage allows you to develop a better solution and reduce development time and cost.
Third Advantage: Cost
If you involve your cable supplier at a later stage in the project, critical concept choices already will have been made. This could mean missing out on the cost-cutting opportunities that would have been available had a supplier been introduced earlier in the project.
This is disappointing, given that you could significantly reduce costs simply by using the knowledge and expertise of your cable supplier during your new product development. Involvement during the concept phase enables the supplier to advise on materials with the best price & performance characteristics, and to optimise the most efficient production method.
These three advantages are highly intertwined. A knowledgeable supplier will understand how those advantages can come together and help you to identify risks and, most importantly, assist you with the development of a better product.
In conclusion, early supplier involvement allows you to:
- Identify project risks at an earlier stage
- Discover cost-saving possibilities
- Improve product manufacturability
- Decrease lead time
For more information or to discuss your next project, please fill in the enquiry form on this page.